Travel by Numbers: Sunshine
Saturday 20 June 2009
As tomorrow marks the northern hemisphere's longest day, Simon Calder sizes up some of the world's brightest locations
Average hours of sunshine each year at Eastbourne, Bournemouth, Bognor Regis and the Isle of Wight, which regularly vie for the title of sunniest spot in Britain. From 14 August, the smartest place in the sun will be the new £20m Ocean Hotel at the Butlins complex in Bognor Regis. butlins.com
Kilowatt-hours of energy per square metre falling on the sunniest place in the world (according to Nasa, at least): a patch of the Pacific on the equator south of Hawaii. At Honolulu, on Hawaii, the months with the highest percentage of likely sunshine (77 per cent) are July and August. Trailfinders has a deal flying via San Francisco from 22 August for two, staying a week at the Pacific Beach Hotel on Waikiki Beach for £889. trailfinders.com
Zip code for Yuma, Arizona – the sunniest place in America. It was at its most prosperous in the 1850s, when it was a major crossing point over the Colorado river for Californian gold-seekers. The best gateway airport is Phoenix, which is also extremely hot and sunny during the summer. British Airways flies there non-stop six times a week from Heathrow. From Sky Harbor airport you'll find Yuma 180 miles away by road in a south-easterly direction. ba.com
Maximum duration in seconds of the 2009 total solar eclipse, which takes place on 22 July and will be the longest such event of the 21st century. It will sweep over northern India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and China – including the city of Shanghai. Demand for flights to China's commercial capital is heavy, but Opodo has a deal for only £663 (based on two sharing) for flights from Gatwick via Dubai and four nights in the Ivy Shanghai boutique hotel. opodo.co.uk
Admission price in euros for one of France's most fascinating attractions: the Four Solaire, an experimental solar oven with a forest of mirrors to reflect the sun's rays to a central point. Spot it in the Cerdagne on the Spanish border.foursolaire-fontromeu.fr
Altitude in metres of the ceremonial site of Sacsayhuaman, just above Cusco in Peru. It is the heartland of the Incas, who thought they were direct descendants of the sun. The festival of Inti Raymi is tomorrow, the winter solstice in southern Peru. It is one of South America's most popular festivals, though without the original ingredient of human sacrifice. Sacsayhuaman is one of the highlights visited by Ben Ross in The Independent Traveller's brand-new film on Peru. independent.co.uk/peru
Degrees north of the equator lies Lerwick in Shetland, which was deemed the sunniest place in the UK during the damp August of 2008 with five hours and 25 minutes of sun on average. If you believe the northernmost part of Britain will repeat the trick this summer, book a ferry from Aberdeen to Lerwick now. northlinkferries.co.uk
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